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Case Study

Microsoft: Cultivating a place where innovation and collaboration flourish

Services provided:  Project and development services, tenant representation

What inspires creativity? Today’s business environments strive to encourage innovation and collaboration through modern design principles, open plans, and progressive workplace strategies. When Microsoft began the process of establishing a new development center for innovation and collaboration in the northeast, they contacted Jones Lang LaSalle.

This new facility would be home to the Microsoft Startup Labs, Microsoft’s first major think tank in the Boston area. The group is assembled of dozens of engineers and designers who create new leading edge products for Microsoft, showcasing a new and even more innovative side of Microsoft to the world.

Understanding the end use of the facility, Jones Lang LaSalle’s leasing team secured a lease for the Startup Labs at One Memorial in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The space offers large open window lines around the full perimeter of the building and sweeping views of the Boston skyline and Charles River. The atmosphere captures the open, transparent, and entrepreneurial spirit of the Startup Labs.

Upon securing the lease, our project and development services team began a 42,000-square-foot interior renovation of the space, which included the removal of 3,400 square feet of floor slab within the building to create a dramatic two-story assembly space. The space includes a monumental stair connecting the two floors, café and interior garden, creating a unique collaborative environment for all employees.

The project was designed with both employees and the environment in mind, and anticipates achieving LEED CI Gold certification. With an open plan of low custom workstations, open ceilings and existing concrete floors, the space is light and airy, with incredible natural light and views of the Charles River and the Boston skyline. Many of the doors and furniture items were salvaged and recycled or recyclable materials were used for finishes wherever possible.

Green energy is also used to power much of the space, contributing to the environmentally-friendly design. The space utilizes daylighting and occupancy sensing technologies to limit lighting and mechanical system energy consumption. The lighting control system also provides real time energy consumption data that can be viewed from any device connected to the Microsoft network, allowing the space occupants to take part in the "green" aspects of the space.

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